America and West Indies
July 1731, 26-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1938

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200-208

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'America and West Indies: July 1731, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 200-208. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72579 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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Contents

July 1731, 26-31

July 26.
Boston.
320. Governor Belcher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Begins as preceding. Concludes: I inclose your Lordships the Journal of the House of Representatives to this day etc. and a copy of my 36th Instruction, where your Lordships will observe, H.M. is not pleas'd to esteem my being in the Massachusetts an absence from New Hampshire. Nor was it ever thought so in the administrations of my predecessors etc. I therefore hope your Lordships will by no means countenance any such confusion in the King's Government. I have been a long time expecting the royal mandamus's for Mr. Waldron and Mr. Gambling to be of H.M. Council in New Hampshire etc. I now take leave to mention the making out a mandamus to Ephraim Dennet to be one of H.M. Council for New Hampshire. He is a worthy Gentn. and everyway qualified etc., and has taken care to pay the charge of his mandamus, and the Council there is very thin at present. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Sept., Read 19th Oct., 1731. 3 pp. Enclosed,
320. i. H.M. 36th Instruction to Jonathan Belcher, Governor of New Hampshire. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 873. ff. 197–198, 199, 200v.]
July 26.
Boston.
321. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to letter of 12 and 13th respecting Col. Dunbar. Continues:— That gentleman seems to be in a perpetual ferment, and gives me a great deal of unnecessary uneasiness, and I have reason to believe is continually writing against me to the Board of Trade etc. Asks that nothing may be done to his prejudice till he has been served with copies for his answer etc., and that Lt. Gov. Dunbar may be replaced by Mr. Sherburne. Con- tinues:—I have constantly transmitted the proceedings of the Assembly of this Province which has been sitting ever since 26th May past, from which time there has not been a shilling in the publick Treasury, for the support of the King's Govern- ment and for the preservation and protection of H.M. good subjects in this Province, nor will the Assembly make any supply of money to the Treasury, unless it be in such a manner as the King in his royal Instructions to me sayes is expressly contrary to the tenour of the Charter etc. I am, may it please your Grace, much concerned what will become of H.M. Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and earnestly desire the King's special direction with respect to the supply of the Treasury, for if the Assembly will not grant any money but in a manner contrary to the King's orders to me, the Government will be lost and the inhabitants great sufferers etc. Signed, J. Belcher. 2 pp. Enclosed,
321. i. The Boston Gazette, Number 602, July 5—12, 1731, contains an extract from a letter from London upon the debate in the House of Lords on the bill passed in the Commons for discouraging woollen, linnen and iron manufactures in the Colonies. Printed. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 898. Nos. 92, 92 i.]
July 27.
Whitehall.
322. Order of Committee of Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations, "who are to examine into the allegations thereof, and consider what sum will be sufficient to be raised for the support of H.M. Governor of Barbados with dignity, in addition to the salary of 2000l. allowed from hence, and to the known perquisites arising to the Governor of that Island, the amount of which, the said Lords Commissioners are to inform themselves of, and to report with all convenient speed," etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., Read 28th July, 1731. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
322. i. Petition of several Merchants, Planters and others interested in and trading to Barbados to the King. Recount former regulations of Governor's salaries. By means of the new Instruction and the influence which all Governors must have from the greatness of their power (which private men dont think it prudent or safe to contend with), the present Governor prevailed upon the Assembly to settle on him 6000l. sterling pr. annum etc. As petitioners have found by experience this additional Instruction tends greatly to the endangering the peace and welfare of the island and to the creating of animositys and divisions amongst the planters and inhabitants etc., and to load their plantations and products with heavy dutys to the great prejudice and almost ruin of their trade. And as petitioners humbly conceive that an ill use hath been made of the power given by this Instruction whereby the inhabitants have been greatly impoverished and also disabled from providing for their necessary defence and security in repairing the fortifications etc., and apprehend that the same ill use may be made again etc., pray that it may be dis- continued, etc. 26 signatures. Copy. 4¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 59–62, 64v.]
[July 27].323. Inhabitants of the County of Albemarle in N. Carolina to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having for many years been planters of tobacco, etc. they are now by a law made in Virginia in 1726 prohibited the benefit of carrying the same to Virginia, in order to be shipt of for Great Brittain as formerly accustomed etc. The inletts to that part of No. Carolina are not capable of receiving vessels of burthen fitt for the trans- porting of tobacco to Great Brittain etc. Unless this law be repealed, which they conceive to be directly contrary to the Acts of Trade, the sd. inhabitants (being cheifly very poor people) are in danger of being reduced to the extremest poverty, and must either be obliged to quitt their plantations, or fall upon such usefull manufacturys for their necessary cloathing etc. as will prevent the sale of considerable quantitys of European goods, and consequently be prejudicial to the trade of Great Brittain. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27th July, 1731. 1 p. [C.O. 5,293. ff. 24, 25v.]
July 27.
Annapolis
Royal.
324. Governor Philipps to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowledges receipt of H.M. commands for his return home, received 22nd July from Lt. Governor Armstrong. Continues: There are many papers of Council and orders and instructions necessary to be transcribed for takeing with me to render a good account of my administration, which shall take up as little time as possible. And it imports me much to be very carefull of delivering up the Government to Lt. Governor Armstrong with the greatest exactness who is turning up every stone and rakeing into every kennell to find some dirt to bespatter me with in hopes that some may stick, in which I doubt not but he will be disapointed, however he shews his ill will tho' under the greatest obligations of gratitude. I shall go hence in few days by way of Canso to visitt that post, and embark on board H.M. ship on that station, that being probably the speediest course I can take for a passage from hence, the way of New England being more uncertain, etc. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, R. Oct. 7th. 3 pp. [C.O. 217, 39. No. 4.]
[July 27].325. Mr. Yeamans to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Requests grant of 12 cannon with necessaries for the stone fort erected by the people of Antigua for the defence of H.M. ships and storehouses at English Harbour etc. Set out, A.P.C. III, p. 251. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27th July, 1731. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 59, 59v., 60v.]
July 27.
Council
Chambers,
Whitehall.
326. Mr. Vernon to Mr. Popple. The Lords of the Committee of Councill, having appointed to meet at the Cockpit, on Wednesday the fourth of next month, to consider of the acts lately passed by the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, relating to the settling a salary on the Governor etc., desire some of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to attend etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd., Read 28th July, 1731. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 873. ff. 48, 49v.]
July 28.
Hampton
Court.
327. H.M. Warrant to John Rollos for engraving a new silver seal for New Jersey etc. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 281.]
July 28.
Whitehall.
328. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hunter. Acknowledge letters of 19th, 7th Nov., and 24th Dec, 1730, 23rd Jan., 11th Feb. and 2nd and 21st April last. Continues:— We are very glad to find you have set so good an example to the Spaniards in the care you have taken of their persons mony and effects on board the Spanish man of war stranded on Pedro shoals; we hope they will thereby be induced to shew equal justice and humanity, should any of our ships suffer the like calamity on or near their coast. As to the affair of the rebellious negroes, of which almost all your letters make mention, we are surpriz'd to find that the parties sent out against them should have miscarried, and that expeditions of that consequence should have been entrusted to the conduct of unexperienced commanders, because every defeat of those sent out against the negroes, must naturally give their encouragement by teaching them to feel their own strength; and the arresting the commander of the other party upon a trivial debt, and thereby putting a stop to the expedition, seems to be an infatuation in the people, if there is realy so much danger to be apprehended from the runaway negroes, as you have represented to us. Upon this occasion we can't help mentioning to you, the former custom used in Jamaica of employing the Musketoe Indians in the pursuit of your rebellious negroes, and we are at a loss to know why they have not lately been employed upon the like occasion, unless it be for the reason of which we have lately been informed, that the people of Jamaica sent them away dissatisfyed the last time they were in their service. We find by former books in our Office, that the Musketoe Indians, upon the death of their King's always presented their new chosen one, to the Governor of Jamaica, for his approbation, as a mark of their dependance on the Crown of Great Britain, but if our information is true, and the Musketoes are realy discontented, it may be a means of loseing their friendship. We therefore desire you will give us a distinct account of this matter. We have constantly from time to time, laid before His Majesty, such accounts as you have sent to us of the state of your island with respect to the negroes in rebellion, which was the occasion of sending the two regimts. now with you; We hope that so long as they shall be found necessary to continue at Jamaica, the Assembly will provide for them, and give them all reasonable accomodation. But we are sorry to find by some late accounts from your parts, that both officers and soldiers are in general in a bad state of health. We have lately laid before H.M. a state of Jamaica with respect to the runaway negroes and to the utility of the two regiments there, and so soon as we shall know H.M. pleasure concerning the same, you may expect to hear again from us upon this head. However we must observe, that by the Assemblie's having made provision for the said regiments but for six months, it would seem they did not think the stay of these regiments of any consequence to the island. We find by your letter of the 21st of April last that your new Assembly was to meet the 4th of May following, and we hope they will shew a better disposition, and will more readily concur in measures for the advantage of the island than their predecessors. We have not yet had time throughly to form any judgment upon the last acts you have sent us, but we apprehend some of them will be liable to objections: the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpool have already petitioned agst. that for laying a duty on negroes, and we can't help observing that you did very wrong to give your consent to any act for laying an imposition of 100l. a head on each convict imported for as it must in consequence take away the effect of the law of this Kingdom for the transportation of felons; it was directly against your instructions. We are likewise surpriz'd at your having pass'd the act for repealing the Protestant act, which has been confirmed by H.M., and that at your request : you have not omitted any solicitation in behalf of it, by your agent and freinds; you have represented it to us as an act wherein the wellfare of Jamaica was highly concern'd, and upon this account we were induced to propose its confirmation, and one of the next laws you give your consent to, is to repeal it. If the Protestant act is of so much consequence to the wellfare of Jamaica, we can by no means give our consent to the annulling of it. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 330– 335.]
July 28.
Whitehall.
329. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, act of Antigua, 1731, to enable Robert Oliver to make good the title of certain lands by him sold to the Hon. Edward Byam, Lt. Govr. etc. [C.O. 153, 15. p. 110.]
July 28.
Whitehall.
330. Same to Fame. Encloses draft of a bond, for observation of Acts of Trade and Navigation, in the form transmitted to the Treasury in March, 1727, for Benedict Leonard Calvert, to be now entered into for Samuel Ogle, nominated Lt.–Governor of Maryland, and enquires whether any alteration is necessary on account of any Act of Parliament since 1726. [C.O. 5, 1294. p. 33.]
1731.
July 28.
Squirrel,
St. John's.
331. Capt. Osborn to [? Mr. Popple]. Has little to add but what would appear a repetition of his former accounts etc. Continues:—No sooner was I arrived this year at St. Johns but I received a petition from the Justices of the Peace of that district, setting forth the many obstructions they still meet with in their office; and since, finding this to be the general complaint of all those magistrates in this Island, in several parts of which they are in a manner rendered useless, I have taken the liberty to transmit their Lordps. a coppie of the same, together with the order I issued on that occasion etc. Continues: I presume it will appear to their Lordps., that the Fishing Admirals influenced by the rest of the masters of the fishing ships, are the opposers of all the steps that have been taking, and tho' I have only reproved them for it, yet I can't help saying they upon all occasions behave themselves very disrespectfully, and in our absence treat H.M. authority and power with great contempt, and some of them do not scruple to say, that it is their interest to oppose any form of Goverment whatever (here) that is not established by Parliament, and the reason is, by the Fishery act they believe the administration of all affairs is in them, and that they have thereby an unlimitted power to do whatever they please, and make use of it to serve any fraudulent purpose in their private way of trade, a great many of which they could not so well do, as while the power is in their hands. These are the arguments they make use of, and the real motives of their dissentions, and the most material affair I have to recommend to their Lordps.' consideration. The consiquence of these disorders I conseve is now grown so notorious that offenders escape with impunety, and of what consiquence it may be of to the trade, at a time when it is manifest those offenders must increase, I can't say, since it is now become a practice of the masters of ships, to bring over here transported fellons instead of Irish servants; an unhappy instance of the villains that are here already happened laitly at Muskitta, in Conseption Bay, where a wouman and four children (being all in the house who could speak) were in a most barbarous manner murdered in one night, and the committers of the fact not yet found out. I have occasioned one man to be taken up on suspition, but it's so slender, that if stronger does not appear against him he must be released. I have since with the humblest submission to H.M. pleasure resined the government to Capt. Clinton, and given him as good an insite as possible I can, into the nature of affairs etc. Has done his utmost etc. Signed, Hen. Osborn. Endorsed, Recd. 8th Sept., 1731, Read 9th March, 1731/2. 4 pp. Enclosed,
331. i. Justices of St. Johns to Governor Osborn. 10th June, 1731. Have endeavoured to preserve peace in the island, and "lived very quiet and orderly till the arrival of the Fishing Admirals and other masters of ships in the several harbours" etc. Continue: They since their arrival have very much contemned, abused, and slighted our authority and that authority from which we received it, and extend the powers given them by the Act of Parliament etc., and proceed therein in a very arbitrary manner, in somuch that they have even presumed to create Constables and also issue warrants to those appointed by us in our Quarter Sessions to the createing great confusion in those officers etc. Whereas they never attempted anything like this before this Commission was estab- lished, we humbly conceave there power is limitted to the hearing and determining the rights and properties of fishing rooms and such matters and things as relate to the Fishery. We therefore humbly desire to represent to your Excellency the affront and dishonour done to H.M. by disputing the validity of his Commission, the stop and interruption put to the administration of publick Justice, and the contempt and scorn shown both to us and our authority etc. Pray for a full explanation of the Act of Parliament etc. Cannot any longer sustain their office, unless a public sanction be given to their proceedings, and a stop put to the illegal practices of the Admirals etc. Signed, Wm. Weston, A. Southmayd. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2½ pp.
331. ii. Proclamation by Governor Osborn. St. Johns. 12th June, 1731. Whereas it has been represented to me, that some troublesome, ill-designing people, who through private and corrupt views have endeavour'd to disturbe the minds of H.M. orderly and well-disposed subjects etc., very much tending to the subversion of all good order and Government etc., by throwing scandalous and seditious reflections upon H.M. authority and power, and particularly touching those commissions granted by Him for the better government of Newfoundland, under false interpriting the power granted to Admirals by the Act of Parlia- ment etc.; and have been very industrious to deminish the power and authority of H.M. Justices etc., these are therefore strictly to require all and singular H.M. subjects etc. to behave themselves with all due respect and obedience to the Civil Government and the majestrates thereof etc., as they would to those of the same power and authority in Great Brittain; and to be aiding and assisting to them in keeping the peace etc., as you will answer the contrary at your peril etc. Concludes: And furthermore I do will and require all H.M. Justices of the Peace, strictly to execute the laws on such who shall show any contempt to their authority or power; or in any wise transgress against the laws of England etc. Signed, Hen. Osborn. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 131– 132v., 133v. –137v.]
July 29.
Salisbury
at
St. Johns.
332. Governor Clinton to the Duke of Newcastle. This is the first opportunity I have had since my arrival, which was the 30th of June, of acquainting your Grace of it; and of my giving publick notice in the several ports of my Government, such a part of the order, as your Grace was pleased to send me, as concerns H.M. subjects, whose ships or effects shall be pyratically taken. I shall sail for Placentia to-morrow, if the wind permits, to see the condition of that place, and as I find it shall make an exact report of it to your Grace, and beg the honour of your Grace's favour, and protection, in governing this sett of people, which will be a very difficult task by what Capt. Osborn tells me, and I find by some few complaints I have already received of the Admirals' obstructing the Justices in the civil power; but shall take particular care of making up all differences, as far as I am capable, and to be as little trouble- some as possible to your Grace. Signed, Geo. Clinton. Endorsed, Recd., R. 9th Sept. 2 pp. [C.O. 194, 24. No. 20.]
July 29.
Salisbury,
St. Johns.
333. Governor Clinton to [? Mr. Popple]. Announces his arrival on 30th June. Continues:—Nothing material has happened since. The most cruel and barbarous murder that has been committed at Muskitta, I leave to Capt. Osborn to give an account of etc., but have made all the enquiry since, I have been capable of, to no purpose etc. I design sailing for Placentia to-morrow etc., and in my way back to call in at Capling Bay, to decide what disputes may happen at Ferryland (if it's possible). For by what Capt. Osborn has been so good to acquaint me with, and let me into, I think it will be a very difficult task, by the obstructions the Justices and the civil power meet with from the Admirals, by their taking upon them much more privilege than the Act directs etc. Refers to enclosure. Continues: That Joel Davies was a vain silly fellow, and had no ship, which with humble submission to their Lordps. made it worse, but he is since dead. I shall just give a small account of the Fishery as it stands at present, being not very skillful of their affairs as yet etc. We have great quantities of Bank fish this year, even greater than has been known for these three years last past, but the boat fishing is very bad, everybody complaining, and I am afraid will break several young beginers, there being several new flakes and stages built; what there is I beleive will turn out very good etc., by the fair weather there has been this month to make it in. The price is not broke yet, but it's guess'd about 28 reals the quintal etc. Signed, Geo. Clinton. Endorsed, Recd. 8th Sept., 1731, Read 9th March, 1731/2. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
333. i. Warrant by following, "deputed by Capt. Samuel Thurman, Chief Admiral, and Capt. John Field, Vice Admiral, to see justice done in their absence" etc., to John Goss for the arrest of John Johns, who has not paid his passage from Bristol and has privily for- saken his master's service etc. Dated, at the Admiralty Office in Muskitto, 31st May, 1731. Signed, Joel Davis, Depty. Admiral, R. Brown, Rear Adll. Endorsed, Recd, with Commadore Clinton's letter of 29th July, 8th Sept., 1731, Read 9th March, 1731/2. 2/3 p.
333. ii. Order by Governor Clinton. St. John's. 12th July, 1731. Whereas I find by preceding warrant, you have assumed an authority of impowering people to see justice (as you call it) done in your absence; I can impute it to nothing but your ignorance etc., of what power the Act does give you, and to the pride of that Joel Davis, who I suppose, (by the character I have had of him) has put you upon this peice of folly. I have kept it to shew the Lords Commissioners of Trade, the insolence of your behaviour. These are therefore strictly ordering you to recall all such power as you have presum'd to give etc. Signed, Geo. Clinton. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 126, 126v., 127v. –129v.]
July 29.
London.
334. J. Belcher, jr., to the Duke of Newcastle. Petitions that the vote of the Massachusetts Assembly of June 8, 1731, may receive H.M. approbation, on the grounds urged by Governor Belcher etc. Signed, Jona. Belcher junr. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 91.]
July 31.
Councill
Office,
Whitehall.
335. Mr. Sharpe to the Duke of Newcastle. This waits on your Grace, pursuant to your directions, to remind your Grace, that the Acts passed by the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, for settling a salary on Governor Belcher, are to be con- sidered at the Committee of Councill, appointed to meet at the Cockpit on Wednesday next the fourth of August, at eleven o'clock in the morning. Signed, Will. Sharpe. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 36. f. 16.]